Not surprisingly, because of our current world situation, I’ve had to look into some virtual healthcare options recently. Or, rather, some of my health care specialists have brought these options to me. Over the past three and a half years, I haven’t gone this long without some sort of appointment to health with my physical health – physiotherapy, chiropractor, naturopath, massage. Yes, I can still take my medications and natural supplements/remedies, and exercises/stretches/yoga, but my body is really starting to feel pain in areas that I normally manage much better – like my back (upper, middle, lower), neck, and even knee/ankle/foot. And of course there is that nasty hip tear that lingers around. Not having those regular adjustments, acupuncture, massages, and other physical touches that help my pain has been well, a real pain. Luckily, I’ve been able to do two types of virtual healthcare.
First: psychotherapy. My psychotherapist was actual the first of my extended health team to bring this option to my attention. She even offers discount rates to clients who need more sessions that normal due to self-isolating and the effects on mental health (I stuck with my regular schedule). She uses a secure platform for mental telehealth (basically we video chat). I find it works well. Which makes sense given that talk therapy is the same whether it’s in person or over video. I also love the idea of this being an option for me in the future as a therapist as it allows for more freedom in general. My rating of virtual psychotherapy: 2 thumbs up.
Second: physiotherapy. So normally my physiotherapist does things like stretch my legs, hips out, and uses the laser and/or bumper machines on me. Those options are obviously taken away. However, also using a secure virtual video platform, my physiotherapist was able to demonstrate some exercises and have me try them. We were also able to discuss what I was doing for exercises (my crazy body weight workouts and yoga), as well as have a discussion about the body-mind interactions of pain. Overall, I was pleasantly happy with the virtual platform. My rating of virtual psychotherapy: 1 1/2 thumbs up.
If you’re struggling with your physical and or mental health right now, seriously look into whether your regular health care team is offering these types of services or look into these services as options even if they are with your regular supports. My insurance still covers the virtual physio, which is great, but even if yours doesn’t or you don’t have insurance these options are extremely helpful and no more expensive than normal.
When Spike struggles, he just cuddles his sloth.
As part of Mental Health week, I also want to remind everyone that if you are in crisis with your mental health, please reach out to a Crisis Hotline or Crisis Text Line. I volunteer at a crisis text line, and we help people of all ages with so many different types of issues. There is always someone here for you, 24/7. In Canada the numbers to text are: Youth – text: WELLNESS, HOME, or CONNECT to 686868
Adult – text: WELLNESS to 741741